Rome Likely Last Frontier for Suits – Updated

Updated June 9 with FINA correction of Cornel Marculesu quote.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 28. DURING a press meeting held in Switzerland today, FINA stated that it planned to "cut the cancer out" when it comes to swimsuit technology according to an article by SwimNews.com. However, the timing of this move will happen after the FINA World Championships held in Rome.

"We are here to cut the cancer out," FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told assembled media members. "It's a crazy area all of this, the professor cannot control this. We cannot solve everything at once. After Beijing, why did we interfere? Because we had understood that technology needs to be controlled."

In a Swimming World request for quote clarification, FINA later stated that the "cancer" quote was a mistake of translation and interpretation. FINA states that Marculescu said "We cannot cut this out simply like a cancer." The intent behind the quote was to say that FINA was in a transitional period, and that there is no magical solution to solve the problem immediately.

According to Craig Lord's report, many suits that are likely on the chopping block come Jan. 1, 2010 when permeability testing is the key, will still be in play for the FINA World Championships this summer. FINA just does not have the time to rectify the situation, but stated that it could not do so until it had "quantifiable science" to back up its decisions.

"We had to find a solution that was not just based on feelings but on science that told us what we need to know," FINA lawyer Jean-Pierre Morand said. "There will be stricter rules in 2010 and some things that are there now will not be there in 2010 and everyone needs to understand that."

Demonstrating understanding how the timing of the Dubai Charter has seriously impacted various national federations around the world, Marculescu stated that swimsuits and federations will have an open season. However, everyone should be prepared for a much stricter set of rules heading into 2010.

"The current suit rules apply only to FINA competitions," Marculescu said. "It is up to federations to do what they like. That can happen only in this transitional period, for one season only: until autumn 2009."

SwimNews.com also reported on the process by which suits will be authorized for use at the FINA World Championships. All suits to be worn by competitors will be sent in for testing the week prior to the event. After passing tests by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, each suit will be embedded with a barcode system. Only these suits will be allowed during Worlds.

The process will also involve two separate ready rooms. The first step will check suit issues, while the second will be the standard ready room swimmers are used to.

Full text of SwimNews.com article regarding suit restrictions.

Full text of SwimNews.com article regarding suit ready rooms.